is now Ecuador formed part of the northern Inca Empire until the
Spanish conquest in 1533. Quito became a seat of Spanish colonial
government in 1563 and part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717.
The territories of the Viceroyalty - New Granada (Colombia), Venezuela,
and Quito - gained their independence between 1819 and 1822 and formed
a federation known as Gran Colombia. When Quito withdrew in 1830, the
traditional name was changed in favor of the "Republic of the Equator."
Between 1904 and 1942, Ecuador lost territories in a series of
conflicts with its neighbors. A border war with Peru that flared in
1995 was resolved in 1999. Although Ecuador marked 25 years of civilian
governance in 2004, the period has been marred by political
is the official language, but Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)
are also spoken.